It's fascinating that the first time the wandering of the People of Israel in the Sinai peninsula is discuss, it is related as follows:
And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
And it was for some forty years that they wandered in the wilderness of sin. So long that the first generation out of Egypt did not survive to enter the promised land--not even Moses.
Now, we did the Lord rescue a people from Egypt only to send them through a raging desert for forty years and not save a great many who took flight? Why would He act in so perverse a fashion as to half-save a group of people.
The reality is that the people of Israel wandered in that desert because almost as soon as the pillar of cloud and fire vanished, they began to complain and wonder why they had ever left Egypt. They were so confused about what they wanted that they could not have followed God even if He has shown up in person (as, indeed, He did in the person of Moses--not incarnated, but spirit-led).
How similar can I be to this stubborn people. God points the way and I wonder how to find the bar, the brothel, the gambling parlor, the restaurant. What kind of place is He sending us to that doesn't have these minimum niceties of a civilized society?
The chief desire of every person is to find the way home, but sometimes that desire for the comforts of home becomes misdirected into a desire for comforts. The transient and beautiful things of this world look very good to us. They seem to be the comforts of home. But they are mere ghosts of those real things. The realities in the vault that Plato spoke of cast these earthly shadows and so deceive those so ready to be deceived.
I count myself among them: lured by the good things of the world, I am too long diverted from the real Good One. I seek my comfort in those things I can hold and so manage to ignore the fact that I am being held, loved, cared for intensely by the God who loves me.